Skoda Fabia vRS TDI | Spotted

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【Summary】Skoda Fabia vRS TDI, a diesel hot hatch from the early 2000s, is gaining cult classic status. Despite not being as nimble as competitors, it offered real-world performance, low running costs, and the ability to be easily tuned. Now, with the future of hot hatches being battery-powered, these original diesel models are becoming rarer and more sought after. A well-maintained example with low mileage is currently being sold for £8,995, offering fans a unique opportunity.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 17, 2023 8:16 AM PT
Skoda Fabia vRS TDI | Spotted

Cars like the Skoda Enyaq and Hyundai Ioniq 5 N have shown that the future of the Skoda vRS and hot hatches is battery-powered. While there may still be some combustion options available, the future is leaning towards electric vehicles. This transition to EVs is a positive move for some types of cars, but for hot hatches like the Skoda Fabia vRS, there is concern about the loss of sound and sensation. However, this is not the first time the hot hatch segment has experimented with alternatives to petrol.

In the early 2000s, the idea of a diesel hot hatch seemed unlikely, but Skoda took a chance. Building on the success of the Octavia vRS, they introduced the Fabia vRS, which was only available with a 1.9 TDI engine and a six-speed manual transmission. Some people couldn't wrap their heads around the concept of a diesel-powered Skoda as a pocket rocket, but the vRS quickly gained a reputation for its real-world performance, attractive design, and low running costs.

Although it wasn't as agile or delicate as competitors like the Mini Cooper or Fiesta Zetec S, the Fabia vRS offered impressive performance for its price. Diesel didn't dominate the hot hatch market, but it did prove to be a viable alternative. The fact that the 1.9 PD engine could be easily tuned also contributed to its popularity.

When the diesel engine was eventually replaced by a supercharged and turbocharged 1.4 petrol engine, some of the Fabia vRS's unique identity was lost. Additionally, reliability issues plagued the new models, further increasing affection for the older diesel versions. With the likelihood of a new vRS Fabia slim, the original diesel models are now considered cult classics.

While there are some well-used Fabias out there due to their practicality, there are also cherished examples. The limited edition blue cars from the end of the production run are especially sought after. Although this particular car is not a limited edition, it has incredibly low mileage (just 22,000) and features a Milltek exhaust, showing that previous owners have invested in modifications. This may seem unusual, but it's no different from the artificial noises produced by electric vehicles.

Despite being 17 years old, the Fabia has only had seven services. It recently received a cambelt, water pump, and MOT, and its red paint and cloth upholstery are in excellent condition. Skoda deserves credit for producing vRS models that still look stylish even after two decades.

The asking price for this Fabia vRS is £8,995, a significant portion of its original retail price. These Fabias are becoming increasingly rare as their long lives and potential modifications take their toll. It's unlikely that many more will be in this condition. While the vRS may have been affordable Skodas, there is now an opportunity for fans to own a piece of hot hatch history. And for those who think the price is too high for a Fabia, just consider the prices of other hot hatch curios from the 20th century. It may not be your cup of tea, but there's a good chance someone else will appreciate it.


Engine: 1,896cc, four-cylinder diesel

Transmission: six-speed manual, front-wheel drive

Power (hp): 130@4,000rpm

Torque (lb ft): 229@1,900rpm

0-62mph: 9.5 secs

Top speed: 128mph

MPG: 52.3

CO2: 140g/km

Year registered: 2006

Recorded mileage: 22,000

Price new: £12,380 (2005)

Yours for: £8,995

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